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#31988 - 18 Apr 06 19:05 AFP/Bali struggles to revive tourism
biznews Moderator Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 24 Apr 08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Jakarta
Bali struggles to revive tourism
By Benito Lopulalan Agence France-Presse

MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2006
DENPASAR, Indonesia A waiter at one of the seafood restaurants strung along Bali's Jimbaran Bay gestures toward the other end of the beach, a sparsely populated stretch of sand where suicide bombs were detonated more than six months ago.

Asian and German tourists keep coming to the restaurant, he said, but tourists from Australia, who have long flocked here to enjoy Bali's famed surf and stunning scenery, are staying away.

"Why don't they come back? We are going bankrupt," the waiter said.

Six months after three suicide bombers rocked the island, tourism numbers are still in the doldrums, with everyone from taxi drivers to hotel owners complaining about the slump.

The Oct. 1 attacks by Islamic extremists on bustling eateries at Jimbaran and the main beach strip of Kuta killed 20 bystanders. The bloodshed occurred just three years after the Hindu-majority island was shaken by even more devastating blasts that left 202 people dead, mostly Westerners on vacation.

In February, tourism arrivals totaled 73,430, down 26.56 percent from a year earlier, official data have shown, while preliminary figures for March are similarly disheartening.

"I'm worried about the numbers," says Gde Nurjaya, chief of Bali's tourism authority.

Daily arrivals for the first three months of 2005 averaged 3,900 amid negative publicity about Indonesia focused on the tsunami in Aceh, Nurjaya said, but this year only 2,800 per day have been trickling in.

Furthermore, the average length of stay has dwindled from about 10 days before the October 2002 blasts to five or six days, he said, as the market shifts from being dominated by Westerners to having a heavier Asian component.

"Some of my friends have quit driving taxis," said Ketut Prastiya, a taxi driver in Denpasar. "Not many tourists are around, so the money is not enough to support their families."

Some have gone home to their villages, others have found other work.

On a good day, Prastiya makes up to 40,000 rupiah, or $4.50, in profit, less than half of what he pulled in before the latest attacks.

But on a bad day, he ends up owing the taxi company a portion of the 150,000 rupiah he pays to rent his car. He owes about one million rupiah.

Irwan Hidayat, the owner of a spa in Denpasar, said business was down by half compared with a year earlier.

"I have to change shifts, rearrange the schedule in order not to fire any of my staff," he said.

Even in the most popular tourist spots, like beachside Kuta and Nusa Dua and the cultural town of Ubud, hotel occupancy hovers at around 30 percent, with the lucky hotels hitting 40 percent, hoteliers estimate.

Normally, hotels would be up to 70 percent booked, they say.

"The level of occupancy is so low. It is so scary," said Ratna Radja Ully, secretary of the Bali branch of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. "I don't know why it is still difficult to get people to come to Bali."

Hotels are offering sizable discounts.

"We got a 50 percent discount for a three-day meeting," said Herry Pramono, whose Jakarta-based office with a staff of more than 30 had just arranged a package at a four-star hotel in Kuta.

Kuta, the site of the first bombing, is losing out to other areas as tourists seek out quieter alternatives, like Seminyak, which are believed to be less obvious targets.

Some hoteliers say the government should be promoting Bali more aggressively.

"Let's talk about promoting the island as if Bali is a new destination and we have to introduce it widely and persistently," said Ayu Martiasih of Maya Resort in Ubud.

Bali is lagging behind other nearby destinations like Thailand and Malaysia, which are heavily pushing themselves, she complained.

"We have their promotions on our local television. Do we have ours on their televisions?" he asks.


DENPASAR, Indonesia A waiter at one of the seafood restaurants strung along Bali's Jimbaran Bay gestures toward the other end of the beach, a sparsely populated stretch of sand where suicide bombs were detonated more than six months ago.

Asian and German tourists keep coming to the restaurant, he said, but tourists from Australia, who have long flocked here to enjoy Bali's famed surf and stunning scenery, are staying away.

"Why don't they come back? We are going bankrupt," the waiter said.

Six months after three suicide bombers rocked the island, tourism numbers are still in the doldrums, with everyone from taxi drivers to hotel owners complaining about the slump.

The Oct. 1 attacks by Islamic extremists on bustling eateries at Jimbaran and the main beach strip of Kuta killed 20 bystanders. The bloodshed occurred just three years after the Hindu-majority island was shaken by even more devastating blasts that left 202 people dead, mostly Westerners on vacation.

In February, tourism arrivals totaled 73,430, down 26.56 percent from a year earlier, official data have shown, while preliminary figures for March are similarly disheartening.

"I'm worried about the numbers," says Gde Nurjaya, chief of Bali's tourism authority.

Daily arrivals for the first three months of 2005 averaged 3,900 amid negative publicity about Indonesia focused on the tsunami in Aceh, Nurjaya said, but this year only 2,800 per day have been trickling in.

Furthermore, the average length of stay has dwindled from about 10 days before the October 2002 blasts to five or six days, he said, as the market shifts from being dominated by Westerners to having a heavier Asian component.

"Some of my friends have quit driving taxis," said Ketut Prastiya, a taxi driver in Denpasar. "Not many tourists are around, so the money is not enough to support their families."

Some have gone home to their villages, others have found other work.

On a good day, Prastiya makes up to 40,000 rupiah, or $4.50, in profit, less than half of what he pulled in before the latest attacks.

But on a bad day, he ends up owing the taxi company a portion of the 150,000 rupiah he pays to rent his car. He owes about one million rupiah.

Irwan Hidayat, the owner of a spa in Denpasar, said business was down by half compared with a year earlier.

"I have to change shifts, rearrange the schedule in order not to fire any of my staff," he said.

Even in the most popular tourist spots, like beachside Kuta and Nusa Dua and the cultural town of Ubud, hotel occupancy hovers at around 30 percent, with the lucky hotels hitting 40 percent, hoteliers estimate.

Normally, hotels would be up to 70 percent booked, they say.

"The level of occupancy is so low. It is so scary," said Ratna Radja Ully, secretary of the Bali branch of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. "I don't know why it is still difficult to get people to come to Bali."

Hotels are offering sizable discounts.

"We got a 50 percent discount for a three-day meeting," said Herry Pramono, whose Jakarta-based office with a staff of more than 30 had just arranged a package at a four-star hotel in Kuta.

Kuta, the site of the first bombing, is losing out to other areas as tourists seek out quieter alternatives, like Seminyak, which are believed to be less obvious targets.

Some hoteliers say the government should be promoting Bali more aggressively.

"Let's talk about promoting the island as if Bali is a new destination and we have to introduce it widely and persistently," said Ayu Martiasih of Maya Resort in Ubud.

Bali is lagging behind other nearby destinations like Thailand and Malaysia, which are heavily pushing themselves, she complained.

"We have their promotions on our local television. Do we have ours on their televisions?" he asks.
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#31989 - 18 Apr 06 19:23 Re: AFP/Bali struggles to revive tourism
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Quote:
Originally posted by KuKuKaChu:
["Why don't they come back? We are going bankrupt," the waiter said.

"The level of occupancy is so low. It is so scary," said Ratna Radja Ully, secretary of the Bali branch of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. "I don't know why it is still difficult to get people to come to Bali."

It is sad, but I will give you the average Australians answer:

BECUASE NO ONE GO ON HOLIDAY TO A FUCKING WAR ZONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#31990 - 18 Apr 06 20:11 Re: AFP/Bali struggles to revive tourism
D'ruby Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 13 Feb 06
Posts: 2177
Loc: My
I love bali, I am going there soon smile

Bali I am coming!!!
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#31991 - 18 Apr 06 21:05 Re: AFP/Bali struggles to revive tourism
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quote:
Originally posted by Polar Bear:
BECUASE NO ONE GO ON HOLIDAY TO A FUCKING WAR ZONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
really?? funny that. i'll write a letter to Kompas to let them know.
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